Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc(R) receives his Lao counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith in Hà Nội on Saturday. VNA/ VNS Photo Thống Nhất
HÀ NỘI The 42nd meeting of the Việt Nam-Laos Inter-Governmental Committee was a success, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc and his Lao counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith said.
During a press conference held in Hà Nội on Saturday following the meeting, the two PMs expressed delight at the effective and comprehensive development of bilateral ties.
Both sides agreed to realise set agreements and deepen bilateral political, external, national defence – security ties, towards achieving growth of 10-15 per cent in two-way trade next year.
They will also enhance connectivity between the two economies, including in transportation, energy, sustainable use and management of water resources and other natural resources.
Nine cooperation agreements were signed at the meeting, PM Phúc said, adding that the Vietnamese government would direct ministries, agencies, localities, businesses and units to work closely with Lao partners, thus creating favourable conditions for Vietnamese firms to effectively do business in Laos.
The Lao PM said the meeting reflected Việt Nam’s appreciation of cooperation with Laos to foster each side’s socio-economic development.
The two PMs also witnessed the signing ceremony for other important cooperation documents, including the meeting minutes, the agreement on transfer of sentenced persons, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Việt Nam’s Ministry of Transport and the Lao Ministry of Public Works and Transport, and an agreement on cooperation between the two education ministries.
The 42nd meeting of the Việt Nam-Laos Inter-Governmental Committee saw the presence of representatives from 40 ministries, agencies and localities from the two countries.
PM Phúc expressed his delight at the development of the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Việt Nam and Laos in all areas.
Lao PM Thongloun Sisoulith congratulated Việt Nam on its impressive achievements in socio-economic development in 2019, especially economic growth of 7 per cent.
He spoke highly of outcomes of comprehensive cooperation between the two countries, expressing his belief the meeting would create new momentum for bilateral ties in 2020, when Việt Nam and Laos are celebrating important events and preparing for the National Party Congress of each country in 2021.
Both sides expressed their pleasure with the implementation of cooperation programmes between the two governments in all areas. The political ties and cooperation in defence – security have been strengthened, contributing to maintaining political stability and social order and security in each country.
Regarding economic collaboration, two-way trade hit US$1.2 billion, up 12.5 per cent. Việt Nam remained a big foreign investor in Laos with nearly 430 projects with combined capital of nearly $5 billion.
Cooperation in education has been promoted with the increasing number of Việt Nam’s scholarships for Lao students. There are 17,000 Lao students studying in Việt Nam.
The two sides agreed on cooperation orientations for 2020, with a focus on increasing collaboration in politics, external affairs, defence, security; strengthening experience sharing in building policies on stabilising the macro-economy and promoting sustainable development; while enhancing connectivity and supplementation between the two economies, especially in transport and energy.
Việt Nam and Laos will work together to build their cooperation strategy in the next ten years, while the two countries’ ministries, sectors and localities continue promoting substantial and effective cooperation in the fields of culture, science, social affairs, information and communications, sports, healthcare, internal and judicial matters.
The two sides agreed to strengthen coordination and mutual support at regional and international forums and work to further deepen the cooperation and connectivity of the ASEAN Community as well as promote the bloc’s solidarity, central role, and common voice in regional strategic issues, including the East Sea issues.
They were unanimous in making effective and sustainable use of water resources in the Mekong River. The Lao PM said the country would support Việt Nam’s assumption of the roles of the ASEAN Chair 2020 and a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2020-21 tenure.
Concluding the meeting, the two PMs stressed they would direct ministries, sectors, localities and businesses of both countries to closely coordinate to realise the freshly-reached agreements. VNS